Summer in Les Gets – the Best of the Alpine Outdoors

Claude Augras
9th April 2018

If you enjoy walking, wildlife and stunning scenery, then you are sure to love summer in Les Gets, a gorgeous village in the French Alps that could be your new favourite warm weather destination.

With walks that vary in difficulty, Les Gets allows hikers of all abilities to experience the incredible scenery, views, animals and vegetation of the area. Plus, with tour operators such as Chalets1066 operating all year round here, you can enjoy the best of the alpine summer in total comfort.

I, Claude Augras, am a mountain guide and have lived in the mountains all my life. Here, I’d like to give you an insight into why Les Gets is such a fantastic summer destination and outline the most special things you can see and do during summer in Les Gets.


What is particularly great about the mountains around Les Gets and Morzine is that here, mountains are accessible to all. There are a lot of easy, gentle hikes alongside routes which are more demanding, physically and technically, while the French-Swiss are of Les Portes du Soleil offers chairlifts to access higher areas.

Some of best of the hundreds of walks in the area include:

Les Gets to Le Ranfolly – One of the best routes for small children, this walk can very comfortably be done in around an hour and a half and there is a beautiful lake on the route which children tend to love. With an excellent restaurant at the end with views across to Switzerland, you can also easily refuel and recharge overlooking an incredible mountainscape.

The hike towards Mont Chéry – This is easily reachable either by gondola or by car. The overview over Mont Blanc is utterly breathtaking and despite a moderate vertical drop, the summit offers a 360 degree view, which is absolutely stunning.

Lac Montriond –  Just a 15 minute drive away, this stunning lake takes around one hour to walk around and you can stop for lunch at one of the restaurants at either end. Of course, you can even have a swim in the pure and drinkable water of one of the most beautiful French mountain lakes. The water temperature is often higher than 20° in summer!

For the more energetic holidaymakers, some other great walks in the area include:

Pointe de Ressachaux – A significant climb through the beech and spruce forests, leads you to a beautiful belvedere with a view over the surrounding mountains. The alpine pasture here is named ‘du Creux’, where back in the days farmers used to cut hay in the heart of the mountain. Do not forget to stop by the natural water source ‘Crève-Cœur’, on the way to the granite stone at the top of the summit (2164 m).

Col du Raty –  A walk by the col de l’Encrenaz. Heading through the pasture De l’Eau, cows graze around you – the very cows responsible for producing the famous local cheeses. Further on, the ‘Pass le col de la Basse’ is a fantastic place to discover mountain flowers and chamois (a type of goat-antelope native to the area) perched high on the ‘Combe de la Veuvale’ mountain watching you! With an early start this hike can be done in half a day.

Rock d’Enfer – the Peak of the Rock d’Enfer massif, sits in the protected area “Natura 2000”.  With abundant wildlife, hundreds of chamois, marmots, mouflon – the list goes on – this is a perfect place to visit for animal lovers. If you’re lucky you may even see a royal eagle! This route requires good hiking technique/ability and if you suffer from vertigo it may not be the one for you… From the summit you can see the Mont Blanc range to the south, and up north the Lake Leman. It’s definitely one we’d recommend, but it’s a good idea to hire a guard to cross the massif.

There are also many, many walks in the ‘Vallée de la Manche’ area. The summit  “La Berthe” (1992 m) is on the french/swiss border, and from there you can enjoy the spectacular views over the Swiss summits such as ‘Les Dents du Midi’. When going through the pasture, if you have a closer look you might be able to spot the “king” of the mountains – the wild mountain goat!

The ‘Tête de Bostan’ hike , going through ‘Pas de Latte’ is a real adventure for brave hikers out there. If you want to go higher in the mountains go can go as far as ‘Dents Blanches’ (2708 m), which is only suitable for sure footed hikers.


The wildlife in the mountains is one of my favourite things about Les Gets. While the animals in the mountains tend to be very cautious and keep well away from humans, if you go with a guide, we will know where they live and can help you see them. You could be lucky enough to encounter mountain antelopes, mountain goats, wild sheep, groundhogs or even stoats. There are however, two animals you are most likely to see.


These are large squirrels that live in burrows and eat roots and leaves. They are fascinating to watch, but generally like to keep at least 100m from humans. To get them through the winter they hibernate, during which they lose about half of their weight with their body temperature going as low as 8°! Spring is the best time of the year to watch them.


These are mountain goat antelopes. Well suited to the environment, they are very agile on rocky ledges and typically live above 1000m. They are very shy and quite scared of humans, so if you want to approach them remain calm and discreet. Or, simply bring a telescope or binoculars. This is the best way to get a really good look at chamois in their natural environment.


Birds in the area include eagles, falcons, kites, buzzards, and more rarely, bearded vultures (or Lämmergeier)! Keep an eye on the skies and make sure you bring some binoculars with you to spot these awesome creatures.

Meanwhile, back on the ground, many species of wild flowers bring vibrancy and colour to the area. The mountains offer incredibly rich and generous biodiversity from spring onwards, with beautiful flowers and much unique and interesting foliage.

For me, being in the mountains everyday allows me to have a different perspective on our planet and the nature that surrounds us.

Mountains are one of the latest place where you can find restricted areas protected from human invasion. The silence and beauty of the landscape invites us to respect nature, its fragility and the menaces that are everywhere. The entire ecosystem in the mountains and the harsh climate conditions due to the altitude, make us realise we are very lucky to witness this unspoilt nature. It’s a great therapy for all!

Plus, getting there is easier than you might think. The villages are about an 8 hour drive from Calais, or you can fly there in an evening.

For your accommodation, the best operator for Les Gets is Chalets1066. They are managed by an English couple who now live in Les Gets and now manage over 25 properties in the village. What is special about Chalets1066 is not only do they have local management, but also they offer a range of services (for example a chef service) through other local partners they work with. So, you are able to ‘tailor’ your holiday to your specific requirements or budget. In the summer, staying in Les Gets is usually around the same or a little less than staying in the Lake District during the summer months!


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